Welcome to Kiddiehug
Welcome to Kiddiehug

Cloth Diapering - The Frequently Asked Questions

There are so many questions that new parents have about cloth diapers and the wide array of choices seem bewildering. We know - we've been there before :-) Here we've tried to compile the most frequently asked questions about cloth diapers and if you still have a burning question that is unanswered after reading this, do email us at kiddiehug@gmail.com or call/whatsapp on +91 9745092806. We'll get back to you as soon as we can and we may even add your question to this list!

1. What are the advantages to using cloth diapers ?

The very short answer is to this question is that there are three-fold advantages. Cloth diapers are gentler for the baby's skin, easier on your pockets in the long run and better for our earth.

2. Is it a lot more work using cloth diapers than using disposables?

It is a little bit more work considering the fact that they have to be laundered. The work involved is not much more than washing an ordinary load of laundry. Certainly, cloth diapers are not as convenient as the use-and-throw disposable diapers but considering the cost savings and positive impact on our environment (and our baby's bottoms), I'd say, yes, the little bit of extra effort is certainly worth it.

3. Won't my baby get diaper rash ?

Actually, it's been proven time and again that cloth diapered babies have a significantly less incidence of diaper rash. The gel-like chemicals (Sodium Polyacrylate) in disposable diapers absorb the wetness so the parent can't really tell when the child is wet and soiled. So the child wears the soiled diapers for a longer period of time. Plus, some babies are allergic to Sodium Polyacrylate in the disposables. All these factors are the reasons by babies are MORE likely to get diaper rash in disposables rather than the cotton cloth diapers.

4. How often do I have to change the baby ?

With our stay-dry lined diapers, the baby remains quite dry, so I normally change my baby after about 3 - 4 hours. Of course, if the baby passes motion, it is imperative that the diaper be changed immediately.

5. Don't cloth diapers cost a lot of money ?

Because the initial outlay of cloth diapers seems like more, many parents mistakenly think that cloth diapers are more expensive to use. As a calculations shows, even compared to using one of the cheapest disposable diapers, one can still achieve a significant saving.

We really don't feel the pinch of buying disposables because its cost normally gets buried under our grocery bills.

The cost savings don't even stop there. If taken care of properly, the cloth diapers can be reused for the subsequent child whereas you have to spend the same amount again for the disposable diapers.

6. How many cloth diapers do I need ?

This really depends on whether you want to cloth diaper full time or part time and how old your baby is. Very young infants go through more than 10 diapers a day. However, babies above six months need comparatively less and toddlers require even lesser numbers. What I’d suggest is, buy some diapers and start using them. You will get a hang of how many you will need in first few uses.

7. What should I start out with if I want to try them out without investing too much?

Our diapers are durable, economical and with loving care, you will still be using these diapers around the house for years after your children are out of diapers :-) If you don't want to invest too much initially, we do recommend starting with our Starter kit which contains a pocket diaper and an all in one diaper which is sufficient for a trial on daytime and night time diapering. Try them on your baby and see whether both of you like it. You can always come back for more.

8. Can the baby wear cloth diapers on the baby while going out and about ?

Yes, you can. Here's how we do it with our baby. We have 2 wetbags in our regular diaper bag. One contains 3-4 clean cloth diapers and the other one is empty. It will be used to store the soiled diapers after we change the baby. Changing the baby's diapers while outside is exactly the same whether one uses cloth or disposable diapers. Think about it for a minute :-) You still have to wipe the baby's bum and put on the clean new diaper. The only difference is that with disposable, you dump the dirty diaper into the bin but in the case of cloth diapers, you dump it into the wetbag to bring home.

9. What are the different types of inserts?

Bamboo charcoal and microfiber blend insert - artificial fiber, very good absorbency (lasts 3-4 hours), can be used directly to skin and will be providing stay dry affect, as well as in pocket diapers. Fairly bulky insert, thus better for children over 6-8 months of age. Very durable, dries fast.

Bamboo terry and microfiber blend inserts – natural fiber to skin, artificial core. Skin friendly, cool for hot climate. Good absorbency (3-4 hours). Same as other bamboo inserts requires care to avoid catching mold and early deterioration. Under proper care lasts about 9 months frequent use. After that, bamboo outer may start to disintegrate, however, microfiber core would remain fully usable. Moderate drying time
Hemp inserts - natural fiber insert, skin friendly and cool for hot climate, however, more 'crunchy' than bamboo, thus less often a choice for direct contact to skin. Very trim and very good absorbency. 4 layer hemp insert can be used as single insert with diaper covers or pocket diapers, both 3 and 4 layer hemp are most commonly used as doublers for night diapering or older children. Not just as delicate as bamboo fiber, however, still requires care to help it last as long as possible. Will last approx 12 months under frequent use. Dries quite long, however, depending on amount of layers.

10. Is it difficult –– my husband and babysitter be able to use the cloth diapers I buy for my baby?

KiddieHug cloth diapers are as easy to use as disposable diapers. In this case, you can go for our All in One diapers. They are practically "snap and go". No stuffing or snapping of inserts. It is all READY TO WEAR, You might just want to put diapers in the diaper bag for the babysitter to use.

11. How do you wash them?

KiddieHug diapers can be hand/machine washed according to your convenience. However we recommend to wash the diapers often like every other day because otherwise, the urine naturally turns into ammonia, making it more difficult to clean. In addition, the stains will come out better with less sit time! For best results, follow this wash routine:

Hand wash:

  • Rinse the diapers in plain water.

  • Soak for not more than 20 minutes in warm/regular water adding detergent in a bucket.

  • Use regular detergent (without any added conditioners/fragrances) such as surf or tide.

  • Agitate PROPERLY.

  • Rinse THOROUGHLY till soap suds are gone.

  • Line dry.

  • If you have hard water, do use water softeners.

Machine wash:

  • No soaking needed.

  • You can put all diapers in machine directly (if pooped, knock down solids and rinse before tossing it into the machine).

  • Prewash the diapers, if you are washing with other garments.

  • If you are washing the diapers alone, prewash is not needed.

  • Use regular detergent (without any added conditioners/fragrances) such as surf or tide.

  • Wash on regular cycle NOT gentle cycle.

  • Run an extra rinse (optional).

  • Spin dry or line dry

  • If you have hard water, do use water softeners.

12. Doesn't it smell and get really messy?

Using reusable diapers is not any smellier or messier than using disposable diapers. In fact, a garbage can full of disposables smells significantly worse than reusables!

For wet diapers, the only difference is that you toss your cloth diaper into your dry diaper pail, instead of into the garbage!

For a soiled diaper, there is one extra step - dumping the solids into the toilet, prior to putting the diaper in your dry diaper pail.

You might want to rinse the soiled cloth diapers before tossing them into your diaper pail, but this doesn't even take longer than one minute.

13. What about when baby is changed away from home - what do you do with the dirty diaper?

For wet diapers, I just placed them in my wetbag. For poopy diapers, I throw away the soiled nappy liners / knock down solids, toss the soiled diapers in the wetbag. Once I get home, I will rinse them before putting them in my diaper pail to await for the next laundry load.

14. How comfortable are they?

Babies can't tell us which sort of diapers they prefer but many toddlers have shown their preference for cloth trainers over paper ones.

If I have to wear paper underwear all day long versus cloth ones, I know which I would choose :-)

15. Aren't they really bulky?

KiddieHug cloth diapers have a narrow crotch and four level size adjustments and hence are a lot trimmer than their predecessors but they do make baby's bum a bit bigger than today’s slim and trim chemical-laden disposables, so keep that in mind when picking out their pants.

16. Isn't it bad for the environment because it uses a lot of water, electricity, and detergent to launder?

While laundering cloth diapers does use water and electricity, the alternatives (using and supporting the manufacturing of disposable diapers) are much worse. Also, you will use much less detergent, because when washing your diapers, you should only use about a quarter to half the amount of detergent that you would normally use. Research shows that the environmental damages caused by disposable diapers far outweigh those of reusable.

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTS

(The following is taken from www.motherease.com)

Waste water from washing cloth diapers is relatively benign while the wastewater from pulp, paper and plastics contain solvents, sludge, heavy metals, unreacted polymers, dioxins and furans.

Although cloth diaper use emits air pollution, the air pollution from the manufacture of disposables is far more noxious.

Pulp bleaching emits dioxins and furans into the air, as does incineration.

Single use disposable diapers use 37% more water than home laundered.

Disposables appear to produce less sewage because in them, human waste goes to dump sites. This practice violates World Health Organization guidelines and is technically illegal. Washing cloth diapers at home uses 50-70 gal. of water every three days. For perspective, a toilet-trained person, flushing the toilet 5-6 times a day, also uses 70 gal. of water every three days.

Landfill sites do not provide the conditions necessary for diapers to decompose. They are in effect "mummified" and retain their original weight volume and form. Human feces can contain harmful pathogens (for example, babies who have been vaccinated for polio will excrete poliovirus) when feces are discarded with disposable diapers there is potential for public exposure (via rodents, pets, flies or birds).

17. How long can you use them before they wear out? Can you use them for more than one child?

How long your diapers last depends on many different factors. The answer to this question would be the same as if you asked me how long a pair of jeans might last. Some people get holes in their jeans after a few months, while others have a pair that lasts them 15 years. So there is no concrete answer to this question. A few things to consider that will affect your diapers' life span include whether you hang to dry or use a dryer and how often you do laundry.

A mom who has 15-20 diapers might find that her diapers last longer than another mom who had 5 diapers simply because each of the diapers belonging to the first mom gets laundered a lot less often than the second mom's diapers. The more times an article of clothing is laundered, the faster the wear and tear shows. As simple as that.

And yes, we do hand down our diapers :-)

18. What if I only have one baby – is it worth it to go out and buy all those diapers?

YES, I would, for 3 simple reasons:

You will still save lots of money.

You will do something good for the earth: You will prevent thousands of diapers from ending up in landfills.

Last but not least, They are simply better for baby's skin: No chemicals coming into contact with baby's sensitive skin. Less instances of diaper rash because cloth diapers "breathe" whereas disposables do not.

19. What if my baby's a heavy wetter or has really long naps?

You can easily increase a diaper's absorbency by adding an insert

20. Won't they get stained?

No, the microsuede doesn't hold on to the stain, even the bright yellow colour of the breastfed baby poo. However the insert may get a bit stained (because they are made from different materials from the fleece). Keep in mind that even if an insert has stains, it's still clean if it has been laundered properly. Sun-dry helps in getting rid of stains

You may use oxygen-based bleach on the inserts once in a while if the stain really bothers you.

21. Do you sell used diapers?

No, we only sell new diapers. If you are really looking for pre-loved diapers, you can join our support group where you can meet many moms using our diapers to their little ones. We run Buy/Sell/Trade (B/S/T) on every Thursday. You can make use of that.

22. Are cloth diapered babies toilet trained earlier ?

In general, yes ! The cloth diapered babies can recognise the wet feeling and will generally have an easier time learning to use the potty.

23. Do male babies who use disposable diapers have a fertility problem as adults?

The findings to this question are somewhat controversial, but a German study have indicated that when male infants and toddlers wear disposable diapers, the temperature of their scrotum is higher than they wear cloth diapers. The researchers claimed that the increased warmth could lead to bodily changes that may affect sperm production and even carry the risk of testicular cancer.

24. Why should I buy these cloth diapers since these are more expensive than the ones I find in department stores?

Good Question! The diapers you will find in local retail stores are less expensive but much lower quality in terms of absorbency and you will find that they will leak! Not only that, they will not last nearly as long as these will! We at KiddieHug, only carry very high quality cloth diapering products and you will find that ours don't leak, and they keep the baby dry for a much longer time! They are much more absorbent and will last through more than one child if cared for lovingly. This is much more economical in the long run than buying lower quality cloth diapers just to find out you have to change them twice as often and they don't last as long.

25. How about cloth diapering while on holidays?

For me, this pretty much depends on where we are holidaying. When we visit beach resorts with plenty of sun, the cloth diapers come along. I'd handwash them and dry them out in the sun. If we are staying in an apartment that has a washing machine and a dryer, the diapers follow us too since it would be a cinch getting them cleaned. But, if we are going to a holiday and staying in a hotel room and have no access to cheap laundrymat, then for the one week or so that we are on the holiday, the baby will just have to wear the dreaded disposable diapers. But remember, Where there is a will, there is a way.

26. What can I put in the wash to get rid of any urine odor?

If an ammonia odor remains on your diapers, the most likely culprit is leftover detergent on the diapers. Try adding an extra rinse or stripping them. If there are any suds left in the washing machine after you are done washing the diapers, you need to do an extra rinse. Stripping refers to the removal of residue on diapers. To strip diapers, simply hand wash your diaper with your regular dish soap (gets the oils out). Add a bit of dish soap to the fleece, either rub the fleece vigorously together or use a medium bristle dish brush or hard bristle tooth brush to scrub the fleece. Turn it inside out and repeat on the other side. Rinse well, making sure that the water runs clear.

27. Why should I wash my new cloth diapers before using them ?

New fabrics have a special chemical finish on them that gives them that "new fabric" smell and feel. Most times this finish is water-repellent, and must be removed by machine washing before use.

We cannot stress often enough on how important it is to wash your new diapers and inserts at least three times before using for the first time. This will ensure the absorbency of the cotton and will make the diaper "fluff up." If not pre-washed, the diapers will not absorb urine properly because during the manufacturing process, there is a waxy buildup on the cotton. A great way to pre-wash your diapers is just to wash them with your regular clothes for 3-4 times.

If you put any brand new cloth diaper on a baby and he/she wets it, urine will simply bead up and run right out of the diaper. The machine washing swells and fluffs the cotton fibers maximizing your absorbency. Once this is done, you will notice that your baby's pee stays in the cloth diaper and doesn't run out the sides (like at first).

28. Can my baby wear KiddieHug diapers under romper?

Why not ?! Try it. Love it 

29. My diapers are leaking and someone told me that they might be 'repelling'. What does this mean and how do I know if this is a problem with my diapers?

KiddieHug diapers are made with suedecloth inside. To properly absorb, the inner fabric needs to be against your baby's skin and pressure needs to be applied. If the diaper isn't fitted properly and is hanging away from your baby's bottom, the liquid will pool and can run out.

A truly repelling diaper meets the following requirements:

The diaper is properly fitted to your child.
The diaper has leaked a significant volume of liquid (this isn't just damp clothing).
The insert is nearly dry.

Remember, this type of leakage can also happen if the diaper isn't fitted properly to your child. So check for proper fit (see question above for how to do this) before deciding that your diapers are repelling.

30. My Diapers are horribly STINKY!  What can I do?

Nobody likes a funky smelling diaper! 

It's frustrating when cloth diapers leak, but it's infuriating to not know why it's happening! 

 Deep-cleaning cloth diapers: what it is,and how to do it?

The water you use: Do you have hard water?

 Hard water might contritube to the stinky diapers for it has a lot of minerals in it, namely calcium and magnesium.  These minerals, if not properly rinse away, can lead to a mineral build-up in cloth diapers which might cause terrible odors!
 

Many detergents don't work as well in hard water because they have to work at softening the water rather than cleaning.  Therefore we recommend using a separate water softener, such as Calgon Water Softener.

But we’d like to make a distinction between stripping and deep-cleaning. 

‘Stripping’ refers to removing an oily residue from the fibers of your cloth diapers, usually from the accidental use of fabric softener or a petroleum- or fish oil based diaper ointment or cream. There are washing techniques—namely, the good, old-fashioned dish soap-and-a-toothbrush scrub that can be used to remove these oils. Deep-cleaning merely requires using a little more oomph before returning to a wash routine that is simple and uses adequate detergent and a long enough wash duration. 

Additionally, we strongly recommend SUNNING your inserts and diapers.  The sun is a natural disinfectant (and also removes stains and whitens so your inserts/diapers will look pretty spectacular too). 

Stripping diapers, although sounds harsh, really isn't and shouldn't be!

If you notice your diapers are leaking/repelling quite often or there are horrible smells emanating from the diapers the moment they become wet or soiled—then it's time for a good stripping!  The method will typically depend on the cause behind the problem so it's important to determine the cause first. 

Generally, for the vast majority we recommend several (4-6) hot water washes (no detergent) which will get rid of most detergent buildup/residues.  This is the safest stripping method available for all types of cloth diapers.  You may consider adding 1/4 cup of vinegar to the first cycle or two.  Vinegar is optional, and not generally recommended for products containing PUL.  Also, some people have reported using vinegar with stink issues only compounds the problem.